Affordable Care Act and Preventive Care in Women’s Health
The Affordable Care Act has made it possible for women to have improved accessibility to their healthcare needs. Expected women benefits include well-woman examinations, contraceptives, breastfeeding support and supplies, and maternity and newborn care (Schuiling & Likis, 2022). In comparison to men, women have greater interaction within the healthcare system, especially during their productive years. With the Affordable Care Act, the percentage of women who reported delaying or skipping needed care because of costs fell to an all-time low (Gunja et al., 2017). Studies show that insured women were more likely than uninsured women to receive preventive screenings, including Pap tests and mammograms (Gunja et al., 2017). The Affordable Care Act brought changes such as women not being charged higher premiums than men in their own age group and allowing more low-income women the accessibility to healthcare. One of the main essential health benefits for women covered under the affordable act is preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management. For the last few decades, chronic health conditions such as diabetes and cancer have increased among women population. Thus, the government has included these health benefits in the affordable care act to minimize women’s chronic health conditions (Bagley, & Levy, 2014).
Young adulthood is the time from late adolescence to the beginning of the perimenopausal years, or the reproductive years (Schuiling & Likis, 2022). Psychosocial development during early adulthood is the development of intimacy versus isolation. Erikson’s model describes this as the process where are person enters into a life partnership. The model explains that women need intimacy to complete their identity development. Women will go through a lot of change during this time from creating a career, caring for parents, or deciding to be a parent. Contraceptive choice is a huge aspect of this age range because decisions to bear children or not is a choice that must be made. Because choices that women make during adulthood may ensure optimal health in the older years, it is pertinent to educate on health promotion and maintenance (Schuiling & Likis, 2022). During the early adult years, women may present with many lifestyle-related issues. Some of these problems may be intimate partner violence, stress in relation to life and those she cares for. Many women seek health care only from providers who specialize in women’s health, such as midwives and obstetrician-gynecologists. Because of this reason, it is important that providers such as nurse practitioners, use each patient visit as an opportunity to give preventive health services (Schuiling & Likis, 2022). As a nurse practitioner, issues like sexually transmitted diseases to fertility issues are problems that are more likely to be seen (Schuiling & Likis, 2022).
Primary prevention is delivery services to prevent disease in susceptible populations. Examples include health education and counseling, lifestyle modification, and targeted immunization. A good example of primary prevention for women is healthy eating during pregnancy. Although pregnancy is not a disease, lack of healthy eating may lead to complications. Secondary prevention recognizes early detection of disease and giving quick treatment to reduce the severity of diseases. Secondary prevention wants to limit short and long-term consequences. Routine blood labs Pap smear and mammograms are examples (Schuiling & Likis, 2022). Tertiary prevention is giving health services that put a pause on disability and promote recovery of a disease process. As a provider, offering episodic visits may offer more opportunities for providing health promotion and disease prevention. Women usually seek information during their annual visits such as a guide to lifestyle changes or confirmation of effective current practices (Schuiling & Likis, 2022).
Bagley, N., & Levy, H. (2014). Essential health benefits and the Affordable Care Act: law and process. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, 39(2), 441-465.
Gunja, L., Collins, R., Doty, P.E., & Beutel, S.C. (2017). How the Affordable Care Act Has Helped Women Gain Insurance and Improved their Ability to get Health Care. https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2017/aug/how-affordable-care-act-has-helped-women-gain-insurance-and. (Links to an external site.)
Schuiling, K. D., & Likis, F. E. (2022). Gynecologic Health Care: with an Introduction to Prenatal and Postpartum Care. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
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